Blind Oud Test - The Procedure

Discussion in 'Guest Contributors' started by powdernose, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

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    Outline

    This is the initial outline I drafted for the Blind Oud Test, which I tried to follow and for the most part holds true:

    1. find a couple benefactors
    2. start designing trial
    3. decide on 2 referees
    4. send invites to select/all vendors (single format, same wording, same content for all)
    5. one referee receives numbered samples, 2nd referee receives list of sample's actual names and values
    6. invite testers to participate secretly (single format, same wording, same content for all)
    7. referee sends out sample sets to testers (preferably the initial pool is such that the referee selects participating samples blindly, not all samples sent in make the test)
    8. testers open parcel on the same day and spend x amount of days testing without being allowed to use any other oud.
    9. Testers send results to referees on same day/time, or post online
    10. Referee2 sends true sample names and values to referee1 to collate results.
    11. Post results
    12. Release all relevant details to the public regarding planning, selection, etc
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  2. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

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    Invitation to Benefactors/Vendors

    Greetings,

    I wanted to ask if you'd be interested in assisting in creating a blind oud test:
    http://www.ouddict.com/threads/blind-oud-test.1255/#post-33640
    I'm hoping to find a couple of benefactors to kick start the project.
    Basically, I'd need each Vendor to send 1-3 oils of varying grades (at least 1 obviously being high grade) at 0.5g weights to be able to conduct the blind test. Preferably including something unreleased too, because it helps with the blindness of the test. Ideas for candidate oils: best in show, best value for money, unexpected profile for region/wood, etc.
    I've not settled on the format yet, but I think I need a couple of vendor commitments to be able to proceed further.
    Would you be interested in helping this idea of a blind test become a reality?
    Just looking to take commitments at the moment. Details are for later.
    Also, please note not to share names or values of potential samples with me at any point as that is something I wish to remain blind even from the main referee.

    thank you for the consideration,
     
    Woodland Note and Arsalan like this.
  3. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

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    Invitation to Reviewers

    Hey,

    have you looked into the blind test idea?
    http://www.ouddict.com/threads/blind-oud-test.1255/
    would you be interested in reviewing?
    I've not finalised the process yet, but I'm looking at secret invites to reviewers, and a participation fee (to cover some oil cost) of up to 60$ (max) plus paypal fees.
    Also, that probably means that you'll need up to a 12 day block to devote to the blind oils without being able to use any of your own oud oils.

    Btw, please don't share this invite or your participation (or not) with anyone :)
    I'm trying really hard to keep things blind.
    The more information that circulates at an early phase, the less blind this becomes.
    I think it key that benefactors are blind to reviewers and vice a versa. This can only be achieved by not sharing information at all until test completion.
    The time for transparency and sharing is after the results are in.

    Please let me know;
    This is just to commit or not. If you do, I'll follow up with detailed information when the time comes.
    Invites may exceed slots, so I don't guarantee places at the moment. Final commitment and acceptance will come with the eventual Paypal payment.

    thanks
     
    Woodland Note, Rai Munir and Arsalan like this.
  4. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

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    Reviewer Rules and Guidelines

    Dear Reviewer,


    I wanted to go through a couple of rules and guidelines for the Blind Oud Test. Please read through this in its entirety and please do so at least twice. Also, please reply to this message confirming you have done so.

    1. The most basic rule, is that you are not allowed to share any of the information regarding your participation in this test (however trivial) with any other oud aficionado. You will not be able to consult with any oud aficionado (other than myself) regarding any matter pertaining to this test until after publication of the results; the Blind Test is a solo and secretive process. I will be monitoring this matter closely. If it comes to my attention or that of the 2nd referees that information has been shared or that you have sought consultations, you will be disqualified. In the case of any ambiguities, I will err on the side of caution and disqualify!

    2. I've already mentioned that you will not be allowed to use any of your own oud oils. For the duration of the test, the oud samples you receive should consist a cosmos of their own. Seeking to identify a blind sample by hunting for an identical in your own stash is obviously poor practice! In fact any attempt to identify any sample, by any means, would be foul play. I'd say anyone who can't resist that basic temptation is a bad candidate and should exclude themselves now. If I get any indication that this rule was not followed, I will err on the side of caution and disqualify!

    3. Besides the exclusion of other oud oils for the duration of the test, there are no other restrictions as to what you may smell. Feel free to heat/fumigate oud wood. Feel free to use perfumes, essential oils, mukhallats, or any other fragrant material as long as it does not primarily consist of oud oil.

    4. You will be receiving between 5-8 oud oils in 0.1g quantities, and reviewing them within a time-frame of 9-12 days. The actual number of samples and the deadline for submitting results will only be declared after you've received the parcel.

    5. The reviews need to be filled out in this excel sheet:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0kohl6q038lzv6y/Blind Oud Test Form v2.xlsx?dl=0
    Please note there are three optional fields, you may complete them for none, some or all of the oils; your choice. Also, note there is the 'time factor' field, you can only mark one oil with which you wish you had had more time. Finally, there is an overall rating and a separate value assessment, it is feasible you may feel that an oil is of high $ value but not to your liking, or in fact the opposite.
    I suggest you practice using the result sheet as soon as possible.

    6. Please read this thread in which Al Shareef Oudh and Ammar talk about side by side comparisons: http://www.ouddict.com/threads/side-by-side.244/
    Obviously time constraints make it difficult to follow such advice to the letter, but bearing the main points in mind is helpful. I only ask that you dedicate one day to each sample, with that sample being your primary focus for that day. Not your sole focus, merely your primary one.

    7. Regarding how you wear the oud oil, I ask that for each sample you put a small dab on your non-dominant wrist for at least one wearing.
    You should also put one to two small dabs on a single ply of unscented tissue or toilet paper. Try and keep the oil radius under 2cm (it takes over half an hour to fully spread) and mark the date, time and sample letter on the paper. Below is a picture example:
    [​IMG]
    I suggest you practise this now. I also suggest you do this for all samples as soon as you open the envelope, and spread them across the house/office. It could help in orientating you quickly and it should help you get an idea of relative oil strength and longevity (assuming consistency in application).

    8. Beyond the above two indicated oil applications, which are to help create relatable common ground among reviewers, you are free to do as you like. Everybody has their own process. If you wish, for example, to go to the extreme of using a sample in a single wearing, you may do so, so long as you fulfil the previous points first.

    9. Once you receive the envelope from me, you will have to immediately confirm receipt. You will need to keep the envelope sealed until I give the okay for the test to commence. On the starting date, I will most probably require a picture of the sealed envelope beside the timestamp from https://time.is/ or beside the date of a daily newspaper. This is for the purpose of synchronisation. Failure to comply with these instructions could result in disqualification.

    10. On deadline day you will need to email me and cc a second referee the results within the time limit. My email is [powdernose email] . The second email will be shared closer to deadline day.


    If you'd like to say anything or have any questions, or are unsure about any aspect, now is the time to speak up :). If you have not completed the questionnaire previously sent, please do so now.
    You are most likely to participate, but final confirmation will come only once you've paid the eventual PayPal fee (looking to be around the 40$ mark). Bowing out after commitment is not acceptable!

    In the meantime, please check your inbox daily for the next couple of weeks; as soon as all the pieces of the puzzle move within my control, I will proceed very swiftly.
    Please send me an address and phone number, so that I can at least start preparations in that regard.


    Thank you!


    Addendum to rules and guidelines

    Allow me to state the obvious: you'll need to consider what you post on the forums during the trial duration.
    As an obvious example, you should not be posting in the Oud of the Day thread.
    Please think about any posts you make before posting them during the trial.

    I also got some concern from prospective reviewers about their ability to put a value an oud oil. I already addressed an aspect of that in point 5 of the rules, and I thought I'd share the answer I gave regarding that concern:
    You might ask yourself the simple question, what would I be willing to pay for this oil?
    And, considering the existing market, where do I feel it fits, price wise?
    There is no wrong way to approach the question and there are no wrong answers. :)
    I think it is an interesting question, and just one of the parameters, no need to overthink it.


    Point of clarity

    There's no problem if you believe you recognize an oud.
    It is an unavoidable possibility that a reviewer might encounter a sample of an oud they may know intimately.
    Ultimately, a reviewer might be right about the identity, or might be wrong :).
    What is not permitted is to cross-check any assumptions until test completion.

    cheers :)
     
  5. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

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    Benefactors

    Below is the basic list of the benefactors/vendors that participated and also a list of all who got invited

    bhanny x2 samples (of Ensaroud or Agar Aura, paid at discount)
    Rai Munir 100$
    Al Shareef Oud x3
    Imperial Oud x4
    La Maison Khenata x2
    Rising Phoenix Perfumes x4
    Powdernose x1

    Accepted invitation but due to personal circumstances was unable to fully participate
    Habzoud

    Respectfully declined (In order of invite)
    EnsarOud
    Agar Aura
    Feeloud
    Alexander Oudh

    Edit: Willing to participate/ Late reply
    Al Hashimi

    No Reply

    Agar Aromas

    My special thanks go to bhanny and Rai Munir for embracing this project early on. Especially bhanny for offering a huge discount on the samples provided. Without representation from any of the top recognized vendors this test would have held a lot less appeal to me.
    A huge thank you to the vendors out there that accepted this invitation and offered up their wares gratis! Their generosity and trust gave this project its life blood.
    Thank you gentlemen.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  6. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

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    Reviewers

    Below is the list of the reviewers that participated and also a list of all who got invited.
    When I reached the point where benefactor generosity flooded in, I made the executive choice of creating two different reviewing panels as there would be enough oud to do two solid tests.
    My thanks to all the reviewers who participated and gave their time to this project.

    Reviewers Panel A
    Edward Muller
    jensz
    Igor01
    Aleata
    Louis Miller

    Reviewers Panel B
    Rojas
    Shabby
    Rasoul Salehi
    Joe King
    PersonelHigh



    Accepted invitation after slots were filled
    Roman Abdullah


    Respectfully declined (In order of invite)
    Oudamberlove
    Rai Munir
    Ammar
    Ashfaque (in the running until the end)
    Mr.P (in the running until the end)
    Nicolas (in the running until the end)
    Okonos
    AZsmell
    alcolado glacial
    Tarik
    Hawkwind
    EHV
    hedyscent
    Iori
    Soulhayl

    No Reply
    Joel
    Saint458
    Firdaous
    Soft approach - No Reply
    Oudian



    Nominations
    Oudamberlove -> Rai Munir, Ammar, Rasoul Salehi
    PEARL -> Rai Munir, PersonelHigh
    Rasoul Salehi -> Ammar
    Jensz -> Oudamberlove, Ammar (they’d already declined)



    It is worth noting that most declines were due to scheduling conflicts, and a couple prospective reviewers didn’t feel confident enough to review, even though I said I wanted a colourful review panel, consisting of different experience levels and different reviewing abilities and approaches.
    Also, a lot of invites and declines came just before shipping date, when I lost a couple of reviewers.
     
    Aleata, Rai Munir and Woodland Note like this.
  7. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

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    Reviewer Questionnaires

    In the meantime, I've created a questionnaire for the Blind Reviewers,
    please fill it out, with the understanding answers will eventually be publicly posted.

    1.What styles/regions/aromas do you like in Oud oils?
    2.What styles/regions/aromas do you dislike in Oud oils?
    3.Barnmeter - Do you like fermented Oud? (Love it/Appreciate it/Hot and cold/Dislike)
    4.Name your personal top two Oud vendors?
    5.Years of oud experience? (under 1y/1-2yrs/3-5yrs/over 5yrs)
    6.Exposure to oud oils? (Tried up to 20/up to 50/ up to 100/over 100)
    7.Do you fumigate/heat oud and with what frequency?
    8.Do you connect to oud oils on a spiritual/higher level, something beyond olfactory appreciation?


    Here is an example of an answer sheet, just to make things clearer:
    1. Hindis and Borneos. Like hay and chocolate aromas, as well as balsamic woody dry downs.
    2. Gyrinops. Dislike musty swampy aromas, also not a fan of rubbery and gasoline aromas.
    3. Hot and cold. Yes to barn animalics - no to cheesy aromas.
    4. Al Shareef Oudh, EnsarOud
    5. Over 5 Years
    6. up to 100
    7. yes - daily
    8. no

    best regards,


    jensz

    1.What styles/regions/aromas do you like in Oud oils?
    Like them all except the handful (below) I dislike. But am particularly fond of New Guinea, Sri Lankan, Vietnamese. My first love was barny Hindis, and though I still love them, I don't covet them like I used to. . . . my palate has expanded.
    2.What styles/regions/aromas do you dislike in Oud oils?
    Dislike tutti-fruitti; heavy cherry notes; dairy/cheesey. Thais and Cambodis don't usually please me.
    3.Barnmeter - Do you like fermented Oud? (Love it/Appreciate it/Hot and cold/Dislike)
    Love it.
    4.Name your personal top two Oud vendors?
    I appreciate all of the familiar vendors, they all provide wonderful oils. In response to this question, I select Imperial Oud and Ensar Oud because they consistently deliver great oils. (Other newer vendors are off to a good start, but are too new to rank.)
    5.Years of oud experience? (under 1y/1-2yrs/3-5yrs/over 5yrs)
    3yrs in October 2018.
    6.Exposure to oud oils? (Tried up to 20/up to 50/ up to 100/over 100)
    Over 100.
    7.Do you fumigate/heat oud and with what frequency?
    Yes, I heat wood on a Mermade heater every day.
    8.Do you connect to oud oils on a spiritual/higher level, something beyond olfactory appreciation?
    Yes, I would say a higher level based on the feeling of wonder/awe it can inspire in me. (But I am not at all spiritual or religious.)


    rojas

    1.What styles/regions/aromas do you like in Oud oils?
    Hindis Combodi Malay Vietnamese.
    I like both orthodox and new gen style.
    I like Medicinal ,Milky Vanillic , Sensual woody , leather /hay/ Fruity
    2.What styles/regions/aromas do you dislike in Oud oils?
    Trat . Dislike heavy smoky / tuitty fruity /Overly sweet kind
    3.Barnmeter - Do you like fermented Oud? (Love it/Appreciate it/Hot and cold/Dislike)
    Appreciate
    4.Name your personal top two Oud vendors?
    Ensar , AA
    5.Years of oud experience? (under 1y/1-2yrs/3-5yrs/over 5yrs)
    Over 5 years
    6.Exposure to oud oils? (Tried up to 20/up to 50/ up to 100/over 100)
    Over 100
    7.Do you fumigate/heat oud and with what frequency?
    Occassionally
    8.Do you connect to oud oils on a spiritual/higher level, something beyond olfactory appreciation?
    Yes on a higher level

    Louis Miller

    1.What styles/regions/aromas do you like in Oud oils?
    - I like earthy ouds, ouds on the more bitter, less sweet side of the spectrum, and on the more earthy, less floral side of the spectrum. My favorites are Vietnamese, Burmese, and Hindi.
    2.What styles/regions/aromas do you dislike in Oud oils?
    I dislike ouds that are primarily floral, fruity, or generally heavy on the top note. Cambodi and New Guinea Gyrinops are two I've found overpowering.
    3.Barnmeter – Do you like fermented Oud? (Love it/Appreciate it/Hot and cold/Dislike)
    Somehwere between "Love It" and "Appreciate It."
    4.Name your personal top two Oud vendors?
    Imperial Oud and Agarwood Assam.
    5.Years of oud experience? (under 1y/1-2yrs/3-5yrs/over 5yrs)
    - Under 1 Year.
    6.Exposure to oud oils? (Tried up to 20/up to 50/ up to 100/over 100)
    Tried Up To 50.
    7.Do you fumigate/heat oud and with what frequency?
    No.
    8.Do you connect to oud oils on a spiritual/higher level, something beyond olfactory appreciation?
    Yes, I use Oud to soothe my nerves, to open up my inner channels, to access my deeper emotions.


    Igor01

    1.What styles/regions/aromas do you like in Oud oils?
    The clean/cool/kinam-ey Sinensis is by far my most preferred style of oud (Oriscent Royal Kinam, Kyara Koutan). I also connect with "old smelling" Cambodi-type oils, particularly the ones with a wide dinamic range, vapoury top notes and deep, jammy woody oudiness at the base (original ASAQ Thaqeel, original Oudimentary KSSS). I also enjoy balsamic, woody non-muddy/non-swampy Borneo oils (Oriscent Borneo 3000 and Borneo Kinam).
    2.What styles/regions/aromas do you dislike in Oud oils?
    I find barnyard-themed oils the most challenging by far, particularly of the cheesy-fecal variety. I also don't enjoy many Thai ouds with rotting fruit stuffy-sweet, "brown", suffocated feel and constricted dynamic range. Swampy/muddy
    3.Barnmeter - Do you like fermented Oud? (Love it/Appreciate it/Hot and cold/Dislike)
    I can occasionally appreciate light barnyardy oils that have clean, vapoury woody notes, but such appreciation definitely doesn't cross into the "I like it so much I can actually wear it out of the house" territory. I can explore such oils in private, but they are not something I would reach out when I want to enjoy oud. The heaviest I can even consider wearing (but hardly ever gather up the nerve to) would be Ensar Oud's Nuh - an oil most people wouldn't even consider "barnyard".
    4.Name your personal top two Oud vendors?
    Oriscent/Ensar Oud. I know it's not really two (although it is, kinda...) To be honest I haven't been consistently super-impressed by anything else I've sampled from others except an oil or two here and there. I also should note that I've stopped obsessive sampling several years ago when I realized that my collection is probably as good as it will get for me, so, for better or for worse, I am completely ignorant as to what has happened on the oud scene in the last 5 years or so.
    5.Years of oud experience? (under 1y/1-2yrs/3-5yrs/over 5yrs)
    Over 10 years.
    6.Exposure to oud oils? (Tried up to 20/up to 50/ up to 100/over 100)
    Tried probably 50-70.
    7.Do you fumigate/heat oud and with what frequency?
    No, my significant other doesn't tolerate it.
    8.Do you connect to oud oils on a spiritual/higher level, something beyond olfactory appreciation?
    Definitely! Oud touches one's psyche and can can have a psychoactive effect, ranging from uplifting, to meditative/grounding. This, apart from good sandalwood oil, is the only fragrance that adds a spiritual dimension to the olfactory enjoyment.


    Edward Muller

    1.What styles/regions/aromas do you like in Oud oils?
    No particular region. To me it all comes down to the overall composition of individual oils. I do have an affinity to incense, perichore, heady oils. It goes without saying oils with kyara/kinam notes as well as the scent of oud wood on low/no heat
    2.What styles/regions/aromas do you dislike in Oud oils?
    Oils that are too sweet/fruity (A lot of thai oils) . Also dislike overly Dusty/Dirt, Wet Mushroom profiles, as well as strong Chinese herbal shop profiles
    3.Barnmeter - Do you like fermented Oud? (Love it/Appreciate it/Hot and cold/Dislike)
    Hot and Cold - depending on how the oil dries down. If the dry down is beautiful, definitely worth the wait and the barn assault!
    4.Name your personal top two Oud vendors?
    Ensar & AlShareef
    5.Years of oud experience? (under 1y/1-2yrs/3-5yrs/over 5yrs)
    3.5 Years
    6.Exposure to oud oils? (Tried up to 20/up to 50/ up to 100/over 100)
    Over 100
    7.Do you fumigate/heat oud and with what frequency?
    Minimum 3 times a week
    8.Do you connect to oud oils on a spiritual/higher level, something beyond olfactory appreciation?
    No


    Rasoul Salehi


    1.What styles/regions/aromas do you like in Oud oils?
    really broad and general. what i love is all of borneo, esp malinau and kalimantan/tarakan. all of malay, most of indonesia, all of vietnam.
    2.What styles/regions/aromas do you dislike in Oud oils?
    only thing i dont like is overtly fermented notes, fecal, overtly sweaty and dirty oils. also not crazy about some maroke oils that have crude oil/diesel note and some walla oils that are too varnishy. ditto overtly terpenic high pitched cambodi and super boozy high toned chinese.
    3.Barnmeter - Do you like fermented Oud? (Love it/Appreciate it/Hot and cold/Dislike)
    hay, or hayfield or well-ventilated barn yes. mild leather yes. clean animalic sure. cheese, overt sour fruit/ vinegar, fecal HELL NO.
    4.Name your personal top two Oud vendors?
    ensar and number two is mostly agar aura but also imperial oud.
    5.Years of oud experience? (under 1y/1-2yrs/3-5yrs/over 5yrs)
    1-2 years of intense study
    6.Exposure to oud oils? (Tried up to 20/up to 50/ up to 100/over 100)
    well over 100
    7.Do you fumigate/heat oud and with what frequency?
    yes daily
    8.Do you connect to oud oils on a spiritual/higher level, something beyond olfactory appreciation?
    yes. exercise. meditation. yoga practice and as art. appreciating it by closely studying it.



    PersonelHigh



    1.What styles/regions/aromas do you like in Oud oils?
    Hindi, barnyard, surprise, movement, everything oud
    2.What styles/regions/aromas do you dislike in Oud oils?
    Too much gasoline, too much sweetness
    3.Barnmeter - Do you like fermented Oud? (Love it/Appreciate it/Hot and cold/Dislike)
    I don’t know!? I would think I really would like it.
    4.Name your personal top two Oud vendors?
    Ensar Oud and LaMasion but I have more than two and they change
    5.Years of oud experience? (under 1y/1-2yrs/3-5yrs/over 5yrs)
    Over 5
    6.Exposure to oud oils? (Tried up to 20/up to 50/ up to 100/over 100)
    Under 50
    7.Do you fumigate/heat oud and with what frequency?
    Yes 1-2 a weeks sometimes more
    8.Do you connect to oud oils on a spiritual/higher level, something beyond olfactory appreciation?
    Sometimes I think so, today no.


    Joe King

    1.What styles/regions/aromas do you like in Oud oils?
    I like all styles/aromas
    2.What styles/regions/aromas do you dislike in Oud oils?
    I dislike burnt wood smell and fermented milk smell
    3.Barnmeter - Do you like fermented Oud? (Love it/Appreciate it/Hot and cold/Dislike)
    Bordering on love.
    4.Name your personal top two Oud vendors?
    Agar Aura, Habzoud
    5.Years of oud experience? (under 1y/1-2yrs/3-5yrs/over 5yrs)
    1
    6.Exposure to oud oils? (Tried up to 20/up to 50/ up to 100/over 100)
    100
    7.Do you fumigate/heat oud and with what frequency?
    Rarely, maybe once a month
    8.Do you connect to oud oils on a spiritual/higher level, something beyond olfactory appreciation?
    Yes


    Shabby


    1.What styles/regions/aromas do you like in Oud oils?
    No strong regional preference; I very much enjoy Gen3 oils. I don't necessarily equivocate them with Senkoh series though as some people do.
    2.What styles/regions/aromas do you dislike in Oud oils?
    No strong regional dislike, but I dislike strong auxiliary notes e.g. smoke or barn which are not integrated
    3.Barnmeter - Do you like fermented Oud? (Love it/Appreciate it/Hot andcold/Dislike)
    Yes, in certain oils it has a wonderful effect (Assam Organic), but most of the time it obscures the scent
    4.Name your personal top two Oud vendors?
    Agar Aura, Imperial Oud.
    5.Years of oud experience? (under 1y/1-2yrs/3-5yrs/over 5yrs)
    3 years
    6.Exposure to oud oils? (Tried up to 20/up to 50/ up to 100/over 100)
    over 100
    7.Do you fumigate/heat oudand with what frequency?
    Yes, but not so frequently, perhaps once every two weeks.
    8.Do you connect to oud oils on a spiritual/higher level, something beyond olfactory appreciation?
    Yes, otherwise I would not use them. Oils tell us about the divine qualities through the language of Beauty.


    Aleata


    1.What styles/regions/aromas do you like in Oud oils?
    Hindis, Thailand, Borneo, Malaysian, Old Malaysian, Maroke, Brunei, Indonesian. Barn, Tobacco, Medicinal, Vanilla, Honey, Balsamic, Animalic, Musky, Funky, Leather, Smoky, Incense, Oudy.
    2.What styles/regions/aromas do you dislike in Oud oils?
    None
    3.Barnmeter - Do you like fermented Oud? (Love it/Appreciate it/Hot andcold/Dislike)
    Love it
    4.Name your personal top two Oud vendors?
    Agarwood Assam, Ensar, Imperial Oud.
    5.Years of oud experience? (under 1y/1-2yrs/3-5yrs/over 5yrs)
    1 year and half
    6.Exposure to oud oils? (Tried up to 20/up to 50/ up to 100/over 100)
    up to 70
    7.Do you fumigate/heat oudand with what frequency?
    I used to fumigate (not charcoal, electric heater) daily but now that I almost finished my stock I keep this pleasure for good occasions.
    8.Do you connect to oud oils on a spiritual/higher level, something beyond olfactory appreciation?
    Sure
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  8. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

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    Received Goods

    Powdernose
    I always had the thought of adding an oil myself, one thought I had was to include a Sumatra 2015 I have from Agarcraft,
    then I thought I'd aim for something under the 70$/g with good value, I wondered if there would be any representation in that bracket. I considered buying one of Feeloud's offerings in that range, which is what took me to the PureOudh.co.uk page, I looked at Maroke Noir which they had in stock.
    Then it hit me, why not go lower and have an oil at the lowest entry level to work as a baseline, and one that could operate in that capacity on both panels. I had a helpful online chat on pureoudh.co.uk (excellent service!) about the aroma profiles of some of the oils and the cheapest oud was recommended. Sweet Trat.

    Sweet Trat PureOudh.jpg

    Al Shareef Oudh

    Al Shareef Oudh.jpg

    (Teeb is a gift)

    La Maison Khenata

    La Maison Khenata.jpg

    (samples of same for me to try too)

    bhanny

    bhanny.jpg bhanny1.jpg

    Imperial Oud

    Imperial Oud.jpg

    Rising Phoenix Perfumes

    Rising Poenix.jpg

    Habzoud

    Habzoud.jpg

    (1x0.1g samples)



    Gifts

    Al Shareef Oudh sent me 1g of Teeb, 0.5g for me and 0.5g for Woodland Note.
    The gift is actually not directly related to the Blind Oud Test, but more about having us study Teeb and provide our feedback,
    but as it was a gift in the same parcel, for transparency purposes, I mention it.

    Similarly, F4R1d0uX sent me blind samples of his competing oils to try too. Obviously it ties to the test,
    but actually the gift originates from an unrelated discussion we had.

     
  9. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

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    2nd Referees


    Invitation
    Hey,

    Regarding the blind oud test I'm trying to organize, http://www.ouddict.com/threads/blind-oud-test.1255/
    interested in acting as 2nd referee?
    It would consist of probably only two tasks,
    1. receiving the actual identities and values of the oils from the benefactors and holding on to the information till the test completion.
    2. receiving result sheets at the end of the test, along with me, to verify that nothing was ever altered by anyone.


    thanks

    Further instruction
    Each participant should keep his part isolated and secret. It is the most efficient way of keeping things blind.
    If people start talking, then other people will start fishing for information, and so on...

    So this is a good time to mention that if any member shares his participation with you (in any aspect of the blind test), you should report that to me. For candidate reviewers, it is grounds for disqualification.


    2nd Referees

    PEARL
    Woodland Note



    Respectfully Declined
    Oudamberlove
     
  10. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

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    Points of Blindness


    Powdernose - Main Referee
    I didn’t know the identities or values of the oud oils, I only knew their source.

    Partenthesis:
    Al Shareef Oudh had recommended a further point of blindness:
    “I have also read your message on Ouddict regarding blind testing. I am for blinding testing, my recommendation would be that the party testing and the party sending out the items has no idea what are the oils and from who.”
    Which is a good idea, however I thought it would make things a lot slower and unnecessarily complicated. I found this challenging enough with re-shipping once, I think to ship samples to third party and then have them shipped to the reviewers would be too much, but something to keep in mind if anybody cares to tackle this in the future.

    2nd Referees
    Each 2nd referee only knew half the list of Benefactors, and hence half the identities and values of the total oud oil pool.
    Didn’t know I had added Sweet Trat by PureOudh as a baseline oud.
    They didn’t know there were two 2nd Referees,
    They didn’t know who the reviewers were,
    Didn’t know there were two Reviewer Panels

    Benefactors
    Didn’t know who else was donating oud,
    Didn’t know I had added Sweet Trat by PureOudh as a baseline oud.
    Didn’t know who the 2nd Referees were, or that there were two of them,
    Didn’t know who the Reviewers were, didn’t know there were two Reviewer Panels.

    Reviewers
    Didn’t know who the 2nd Referees were, or that there were two of them,
    Didn’t know who the Benefactors were,
    Didn’t know who the other Reviewers were, or that there were two separate panels,
    Didn’t know the oud oil sources, identities or values.
     
  11. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

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    Splitting Samples into 2 random groups

    bhanny 2 - pearl - confirmed (Bh1)1-1 (Bh2)
    Imperial 4 - pearl - confirmed (IO 1)1-2 (IO 3, IO4) IO2 OUT
    Al Shareef 3 - woodland (ASO 2+3)2-1 (ASO 1)
    Faridoux 2 - woodland - confirmed (LMK A) 1-1 (LMK 2)
    Habz 0 - pearl - confirmed (5 samples)
    Rising Phoenix 4 - woodland - confirmed (RP1)1-2 (RP2, RP3) Sandalwood RP4 OUT
    Powdernose - 1x2- Sweet Trat 1-1

    7-8

    Edit: Which ended up with the split being a bit lopsided value wise, but such were the possibilities with random blind selection.


    Samples as sent to Reviewers


    Sample Identities key.jpg


    Igor01
    Samples Igor01.jpg

    (Randomly added one of the Habzoud samples)

    Ed Muller
    Samples Ed Muller.jpg

    (Randomly added one of the Habzoud samples)

    jensz
    Samples jensz.jpg

    Aleata
    Samples Aleata.jpg

    Louis Miller
    Samples Louis Miller.jpg

    (Randomly added one of the Habzoud samples)

    rojas
    Samples rojas.jpg

    Shabby
    Samples Shabby.jpg

    Rasoul Salehi
    Samples Rasoul Salehi.jpg

    Joe King
    Samples Joe King.jpg

    PersonelHigh
    Samples PersonelHigh.jpg

    (Still intended for MrP. when I was preparing them)


    The pictures are date-stamped, and as an additional step, I mailed (registered) the original slips of paper as seen in the pictures to Woodland Note on Friday morning the 26th, before receiving the first test result.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  12. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

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    Test dates

    The plan was for a synchronised start for all Reviewers but that proved impossible, even with DHL shipping...
    I clustered starting dates as close and as best as I could.

    jensz started on Tuesday the 16th of October, and had 11 days to review 7 samples, jensz was attending the Oudfayre on the 27th so had to finish by Friday the 26th. Jensz actually agreed to take fewer days if the parcel came later.

    The rest of the group started on Wednesday the 17th. Aleata also had 7 samples and 11 days, as he had an upcoming personal commitment, so I kept to 11 vs 12 days. For the other 3 I made a last minute decision to include a random Habzoud sample each, since I had them about, to round out to 8 samples and they went for 12 days.

    Shabby, Joe King and PersonelHigh started on Friday the 19th with 8 samples for 12 days.
    Rojas had customs slow down delivery and started on Sunday the 21st of October and had the full 12 days.

    Rasoul Salehi had a huge slow down at customs. My fault as I sent a bottle of wine along as a gift and didn’t realise it entailed a whole separate process to clear. Then after it cleared Rasoul was away a few days, so he only got to open on Monday the 29th.
    As such we reworked the format a bit, my initial suggestion was this:
    1. I suggest you do the tissue test as described in the rules, for all samples straight away.
    that way you fulfill it straight away and get an idea of the samples.
    2. I suggest you eliminate your bottom 2 samples straight after this (let me know which)
    3. Work backwards from top to bottom and let me know how far you have gotten by end of day on Thursday.
    4. If I extend, you'll need to send me a daily update of the file, for each extended day.

    Rasoul was confident of doing the test at a faster pace (thanks), so he only took a one day extension to double check on his results.

    This is the picture of Rasoul’s envelope date-stamped:
    Envelope Rasoul1.jpg Envelope Rasoul.jpg

    His envelope was white because it was in a box with the wine, all others had orange bubble wrap envelopes.

    I have pictures of the date-stamped envelopes (except for Aleata, but he received only half a day prior to commencing date anyway) but I won’t bore people with them unless people want to be bored.


    Reviewer notes (Post Test)


    Rasoul Salehi Notes:

    I wish there was a line for balance. Intensity can be good or bad. E.g that walla is too intense for its own good where as the sample E, could have used more intnsity.

    I also think a given oils overall scoring has to do with cost and accuracy of how its exemplifying a region as well as the aesthetic intention the distiller had in mind and wether they acheived it or not. E.g. sample G if is malinau, is not a good one at all, but if intention was to capture northern borneo and for an entry level price, then that's a success. as such you will see my overall rating devaited greatly from the combo of the scores given in rows 2-5

    lastly none of the oils here rocked my boat. My aesthetic is different. This doesn't really affect how I objectively see them and review them, but worth sharing


    Joe King Notes:

    first I understand there were constraints but the sample size was quite small (I generally use a large swipe).

    Second I tested the oils progressively and on the last few days I developed a cold which hampered my analysis of the last 2 oils (G & H).


    PersonelHigh Notes:

    The samples were so over the top tiny.



    Breakages and Leakages

    Unfortunately we had one vial break, Shabby’s vial E arrived shattered
    (Thanks for providing an impression anyway)
    Breakage Shabby sample E.jpeg

    Also we had three vials leak, all three were ASO 1 (for rojas, Shabby, PersonelHigh).
    I really don’t know what happened there, my apologies again to the reviewers for the mess, and my deepest apologies to Al Shareef Oudh for severely handicapping one of his oils in this test. Sorry!
    Leakage PersonelHigh Sample D.jpg PersonelHigh sample D

    Leakage rojas sample G.jpg rojas Sample G


    Miscellaneous


    I read this from PEARL on the forums, and it was really helpful in getting the job done, thanks!
    I didn’t actually get luer lock syringes, and asking around for them got me tons of strange looks :p, but syringes with thick needles did help the task of portioning out so many oils a bit easier to handle.
     
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  13. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

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    Identities and Values of Samples from 2nd Referees


    Imperial Oud

    1 - FHI - $366 per gram
    2 - Tinsukia - $95 per gram (NOT included in test)
    3 - Martabat - $120/g
    4 - Cambodi Vintage - $98/ gram


    Bhanny
    (Paid 300$ for these plus fees and shipping)

    1.Borneo Diesel – 500$/g
    2.Suriranka Senkoh – 263$/g


    RisingPhoenix

    1. Peche 2016, Crassna (1g - $79)
    2. SumbaWALLA 2017, Gyrinops (1g - $199)
    3. Xue Jie Laos 2005, Agallocha / Sinensis - $150/1g
    4. Kopondai Flores 2018, Santalum Album (1g - $55) (NOT included in test)


    La Maison Khenata

    1 is the Mandalay Signature and price per gram is 155$
    2 is the Eau Du Vietnam and price per gram is 48$.


    Al Shareef Oud

    1. Rakhawah - Borneo (Malaysia) $270 per 2.5ml (out of stock) 108$/g
    2. Hareer - Hindi & Chinese codistilled $750 per 2.5ml (in stock) 300$/g
    3. Organic Borneo (Indonesia) $185 per 2.5ml (unreleased) $74/g


    Powdernose


    Sweet Trat by PureOudh/ Cultivated Thai crassna 26$/g


    Habzoud (0.1g samples only)


    1-zamarad - 95$ (NOT included in test)
    2-mukhmil – 85$
    3-dukhan – 105$
    4-khusi – 115$ (NOT included in test)
    5-qamar – 200$


    Full Identities per Reviewer


    Sample Full Identities key.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
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  14. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

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    Expense Sheet

    Below is my own expense sheet for the test, meaning every cash transaction that went through me with regard to the Blind Oud Test.
    As for the scale and contribution of the Vendors, I'll leave that to you to estimate, by looking at the previous post ;), keep in mind also that every vendor paid for shipping too (thanks!).


    Blind Expenses.jpg


    I'd not intended for costs to be as high as they were, but shipping costs surpassed the intended budget. Originally, I had called in a favour to piggyback a corporate DHL account, but it fell through at the last moment, I tried a backup plan, but in the end I decided to go forward taking on full DHL rates, not doing so would have meant losing two reviewers and going backwards in this endeavour.
    After that I asked for an additional 20$ from the reviewers to help spread that cost, and I thank them for complying.
     
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  15. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

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    Results

    For completeness here is the link to complete results
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/jq6i45w2n4hdop3/Blind Oud Test Panels.2.xlsx?dl=0
    However presentation and discussion of results can be found in this separate thread:
    http://www.ouddict.com/threads/blind-oud-test-results-and-discussion.1497/

    Thank you for reading through this!


    Panel A Results:

    [​IMG]

    The panel converged nicely to give clear separation and winners :)


    Panel B Results:

    [​IMG]

    There was a bit of clashing in this panel, to create a hot beautiful mess :). Only marginal wins.
     
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  16. Woodland Note

    Woodland Note Oud Fan

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    And I have recived them today. The date stamp confirms the legitimacy.

    blind-oud-test-docs-11-13.png

    :Thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
  17. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

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    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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  18. powdernose

    powdernose Oud Sprite

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    With the remaining quantities of any samples or with what was unused for the test,
    I ran a giveaway competition:
    http://www.ouddict.com/threads/competition-blind-oud-test.1556/
    the giveaway included some of the personal gifts and others I re-gifted.
    In the end what remains with me is a small sample of Khusi - Habzoud and a little bit of the Tinsukia - IO.
     

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